A system and method for stimulating the baroreflex arc based on levels of indicators from the body includes a pacemaker for bradycardia support pacing should the indicators show the need for support pacing. Other indicators and a process take advantage of an assumed relationship between peripheral vascular resistance and pulmonary resistance to determine the level of nerve stimulation required. This level is adjusted or optimized based on its interaction with heart activity and changes in the other indicators. These other indicators are readily available to the implanted device and allow for a process to make an estimate of pulmonary vascular resistance, from which SVR is also estimated. The value determined for SVR is the primary value used to determine the level of nerve stimulation absent indicators for the need to provide bradicardia pacing. The pacemaker can be rate responsive, as can the process for determining the level of nerve stimulation to be delivered. Several different lead configurations are described.